Two anti-Corbyn MPs could face deselection after ‘propping up’ the government

Frank Field & Kate Hoey
Support us and go ad-free

It’s been a bad week for Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents in the Labour Party. Two of his most prominent critics lost votes in their Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) and could now face deselection.

Votes of no confidence

On 26 July, the notorious pro-Brexit MP Kate Hoey lost a vote of no confidence in her constituency of Vauxhall. The motion called for her to lose the party’s whip and for the National Executive Committee (NEC) to bar her from being re-selected to stand as a Labour MP.

The motion acknowledged Hoey’s longstanding work as an MP, before stating:

However, we believe that the accumulation of her actions and statements over the years, culminating in her supporting this reactionary government and a Tory Brexit, which will threaten jobs, peace in Northern Ireland and the future of the NHS, and undermine workers’ rights and environmental and other standards, cannot be deemed to be compatible with Labour’s core beliefs and values.

The motion calling for her deselection was passed unanimously.

A day later, arch Corbyn critic Frank Field also lost a vote of no confidence from his CLP. In a letter which triggered the vote, Labour member Brian Parsons said:

the recent actions taken by Frank Field on his Parliamentary voting decisions and inappropriate media interview choices neither benefit not reflect the views of the Local Party or the Constituents of Birkenhead.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

It continued:

Mr Field is for whatever reasons refusing to assist his Parliamentary colleagues in removing one of the cruellest and savage Tory administrations this country has produced.

The motion calling for Field’s deselection passed with a large majority. 59 people backed the motion, and just 13 voted against it.

Propping up the government

Hoey and Field were two of the four Labour MPs who voted with the government on a key Brexit vote earlier in July. The vote was on a Labour proposal for the UK to join a customs union with the EU if the government failed to agree on a post-Brexit trade deal. The government was voting against the proposal.

The Government narrowly won the vote by 307 votes to 301, with most Labour MPs voting for a customs union. John Mann and Grahame Stringer joined Hoey and Field in voting with the government.

The four Labour MPs have since faced significant criticism. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused them up of working to “prop up” the government. Had the four MPs voted with their party, the government would have lost the vote.

Track record

The MPs now facing deselection have a long track record of undermining the Labour Party and its political position.

Hoey was a prominent campaigner for Brexit during the 2016 referendum. She was active within the “Grassroots Out” group, alongside Nigel Farage and George Galloway. Until 2015, she was chair of the pro-hunting lobbying group the Countryside Alliance. She was also previously described as “the least gay-friendly of all Labour MPs” by the LGBT+ group Stonewall.

Field has a similar record. In 2017, he threatened to form a rival political group in parliament made up of anti-Corbyn Labour MPs. This came just months after he praised JK Rowling for her attack on  Corbyn, in which she alleged he was a “lousy leader”. He once also called Margaret Thatcher “a hero”.

Rule changes

At present, the votes passed against Field and Hoey aren’t binding. Instead, NEC is challenged to produce an early “trigger ballot”. Trigger ballots enable local party members to reject a sitting MP standing for re-selection.

Because of this, the pro-Corbyn group Momentum is pushing to make it easier for CLPs to deselect MPs. It is looking to take the issue to the party conference in the autumn, as part of the party’s democracy review.

Whether rule changes take place or not, grassroots Labour members are already taking action against MPs who are acting against the interests of the party and undermining the leadership. If they’re successful, they’ll help secure the long-term changes Corbyn and others are trying to make in the party.

Get involved!

–  Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Read and support other independent media outlets:

Media DiversifiedNovara MediaCorporate WatchRed PepperNew InternationalistCommon SpaceMedia LensBella CaledoniaVox PoliticalEvolve PoliticsReal MediaReel NewsSTRIKE! magazineThe Bristol CableThe Meteor, The SkwawkboxSalford StarThe FerretThe Norwich RadicalopenDemocracy.

Featured image via Steve Punter – Wikimedia Commons, UK Parliament -Wikimedia Commons

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed